For centuries, tribal and indigenous communities have relied on natural resources to sustain their families, communities, traditional ways of life, and cultural identities. This relationship with both land and water ecosystems makes indigenous people and cultures particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In 2015, the Southwest Climate Science Center partnered with the University of Arizona's Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) to support the Native Nations Climate Adaptation Program (NNCAP) which develops regional capacity for engagement with tribes to support climate change adaptation.
NNCAP seeks to build on the success of this first phase of partnership to support the climate adaptation capacity of tribes in the Southwest. This new phase of the partnership will expand the capacity to work directly with tribes and scale-up efforts to meet the needs of additional tribal partners. There is a focus in particular on expansion of technical capacity to support on-the-ground adaptation efforts that will help with tribal engagement, grant writing, access to relevant climate information, and overcoming a range of existing governance barriers and building trust to design and implement on-the-ground climate adaptation strategies.